| Battle against drug cheats is one of Rogge’s priorities
Lausanne: IOC president Jacques Rogge put the US Track and Field under intense pressure here to supply evidence that would prove whether world 400 metre champion Jerome Young is a drug cheat or not.
The 27-year-old Young was officially named on Thursday by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) during a meeting with the IOC executive board as the mystery American gold medallist at the Sydney Games who had tested positive for steroids shortly before the Games.
Young tested positive for nandrolone in June 1999 but was later cleared at an appeal and was allowed to compete in the victorious US 4x400 relay team. But the US Track and Field have refused to release the details surrounding the Young affair.
It has even refused to confirm that Young was the athlete in question. Rogge welcomed the naming of Young.
“Before there was a suspicion of all US athletes competing in Sydney. It could have been any other athlete. Now we know 99 per cent of the US team is innocent, that one person is suspected,” said Rogge, who has made the battle against drug cheats one of his main priorities since he took charge of the IOC.
But he urged on Thursday for the Young case to be settled.
“We want this case of Jerome Young to be solved as soon as possible,” stressed Rogge.
His call was backed by USOC acting president Bill Martin, who said he would put all pressure he could on the US Track and Field to supply the paper work dealing with Young, who won the world 400 metre title at Paris last month.
But a USOC official admitted that the last time they had asked for the information in 2002 US Track and Field had refused.
IOC medical commission head Arne Ljungquist, who is also International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice president, complained he had exhausted almost every procedure to have US Track and Field hand over the documents to the IAAF.
“If we have the documents we can decide whether the right decision was made or not to clear Young. We can make the decision in a matter of days as soon as we have the material,” he said. “We will be asking the US Track and Field as soon as possible to give them to us.”
Rogge said it was impossible for the IOC to take any action until there was a recommendation from the IAAF, but he made it clear that if the IAAF found evidence against Young, he would be stripped of his gold and be disqualified from the Games.